‘Karachi operation’s success linked to strategic partnership’

CM addresses apex committee meeting, says strong will powered the operation

Our Correspondent December 13, 2016
Babar claims 70,000 MQM workers were picked up by Rangers. PHOTO: ONLINE

KARACHI: Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has said that the success of the apex committee in restoring peace in the city was due to a strategic partnership between the army, Rangers and Sindh police. He also termed it 'the will of his government'.

"This strategic partnership worked well because of [everyone] being on the same page in implementing the National Action Plan but this operation will continue till the last terrorist [is brought to the book]."

He said this while presiding over a special apex committee meeting convened to discuss the performance of the operation as two of the committee's senior members - Karachi Corps Commander Lt-Gen Naveed Mukhtar who has been posted as director-general of the ISI and Rangers DG Major-General Bilal Akbar who has been promoted to Lt-General - will relinquish their present positions soon.

"When we had started this journey, the law and order situation was not up to mark; there was unrest among the people of this city and terrorists, mafias and other criminals had established their sway in different areas," said Shah, adding that now things have improved and the government has won public confidence. "This credit goes to our political leadership, this forum in which decisions were taken with collective wisdom and implemented or are being implemented in true letter and spirit."

The chief minister assured the corps commander and Rangers DG that the work they have left incomplete would be completed through this forum. Briefing the meeting, the additional IG of the Counter-Terrorism Department, Sanaullah Abbasi, said that the crime rate has dropped in Sindh considerably. He added that Pakistan experienced a 19.4% rise in the number of fatalities from violence.

The home secretary, talking about Karachi operation, said that the since the last apex committee meeting, no terrorism incident has taken place nor has any kidnapping case been reported. He added that 26 extortion cases have been reported whereas during the corresponding period last year, 35 cases were reported. He said 18 target killing incidents have been reported, whereas last year they were only 15.

Major-General Akbar said that the Rangers have arrested very highly ranked leaders of alQaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and other banned organisations. He said that the Rangers have arrested 1,474 terrorists, 9,053 target killers, 438 extortionists and 115 kidnappers.

"If we go back to November, 2012, there were 75 targeted killings a month," he said. "The operation started in September, 2013, and there were 29 target killings in November, 2013, and in November, 2015, there were 12 and this November, there were only nine targeted killing cases. Karachi can be made more secure if proper capacity building of the police is done."

Lt-Gen Mukhtar appreciated the efforts of the government and said that the best achievement of the Karachi operation is the change in the life of a common man. The results of the government, army, Rangers, police and intelligence agencies' efforts are very clear, for which the apex committee deserves accolades, he said.

Talking about the principles of the operation, the corps commander said that its principle set was to launch a bloodless operation. This forum breaks the myth that action was not taken against the powerful [mafias], he added.

He added that the operation would be more successful if the police and administration are strengthened. "We must learn from our mistakes and should resolve not to repeat those mistakes again," he said. He also said that the operation against the drug mafia was the need of the hour and strict action against street crime must be initiated with proper planning.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 14th, 2016.


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